April 18, 2019 / 2:10 AM / a year ago

METALS-Shanghai aluminium hits 4-1/2-month high on improved China outlook

    BEIJING, April 18 (Reuters) - Shanghai aluminium prices
breached the psychological 14,000 yuan ($2,093.61) a tonne
barrier for the first time in four and a half months overnight
and extended gains on Thursday on an improved outlook in top
consumer China.
    The 14,000 yuan mark is considered an average break-even for
Chinese aluminium smelters, whose margins had been squeezed by a
protracted price slump over 2018.
    * ALUMINIUM: The most traded aluminium contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange, for delivery in June, rose
as much as 0.8 percent to 14,070 yuan a tonne, the highest since
Dec. 3, and was at 14,035 yuan as of 0148 GMT. Three-month
aluminium on the London Metal Exchange nudged up 0.2
percent to $1,853.50.
    * ALUMINIUM: China's aluminium production fell 3.6 percent
on a daily basis in March from the previous two months to its
lowest rate since October, according to calculations based on
official data released on Thursday.
    * CHINA: China's economy grew 6.4 percent in the first
quarter from a year earlier, official data showed on Wednesday,
above expectations and steady from the previous quarter, helped
by sharply higher factory production.
    * COPPER: Three-month LME copper slipped 0.3 percent
to $6,535 a tonne, after closing 0.9 percent higher in the
previous session. ShFE copper edged up 0.1 percent to
49,610 yuan a tonne.
    * OTHER METALS: Shanghai nickel and zinc
fell 1.1 percent and 0.8 percent, respectively, mirroring a
decline in the Chinese ferrous complex. Lead was also
down, while tin was flat.     
    * LITHIUM: China's Tianqi Lithium Corp said on
Wednesday it would nominate two Chileans and a U.S. businessman
to the board of lithium miner SQM, candidates seen as 'safe
choices' for the world's No. 2 lithium producer as it faces
booming demand.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian shares were subdued after a negative performance on
Wall Street, with caution ahead of business surveys in Europe
and Japan, and the Good Friday and Easter holidays keeping
investors on the sidelines.    
0130   Australia     Employment                March
0130   Australia     Unemployment Rate         March
0715   France        Markit Mfg Flash PMI      April
0730   Germany       Markit Mfg Flash PMI      April
0800   EU            Markit Mfg Flash PMI      April
0800   EU            Markit Serv Flash PMI     April
0800   EU            Markit Comp Flash PMI     April
0830   UK            Retail Sales MM           March
0830   UK            Retail Sales Ex-Fuel MM   March
0830   UK            Retail Sales YY           March
1230   US            Initial Jobless Claims    Weekly
1230   US            Retail Sales MM           March    
 BASE METALS PRICES                        0151 GMT
 Three month LME copper                        6534
 Most active ShFE copper                      49600
 Three month LME aluminium                   1853.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   14035
 Three month LME zinc                          2805
 Most active ShFE zinc                        21635
 Three month LME lead                          1938
 Most active ShFE lead                        16375
 Three month LME nickel                       12890
 Most active ShFE nickel                     100170
 Three month LME tin                          20420
 Most active ShFE tin                        148610
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3     235.99
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3     -12.57
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3        -28
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3    1233.78
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3     494.33
 ($1 = 6.6870 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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